Wogeo - Sociopolitical Organization

Social and Political Organization. As described above, Wogeo society is organized into residential districts, villages, and clans with an overlay of the two exogamous moieties. Wealth and status differences are reflected in the number of garden plots "owned" by a man and in polygynous marriage. The village is the primary sociopolitical unit, with much Contact and cooperation occurring between residents of the same village. Each clan has a headman ( kokwal ) who adjudicates disputes and controls magic; the most respected clan headman serves as the village leader. Headman succession usually, though not always, is to the oldest son.

Social Control and Conflict. Violation of marriage and incest rules, the stealing of pigs, and adultery are serious offenses. Sanctions include supernatural punishments achieved through sorcery, individual retribution, payment of compensation, change of residence, shunning, and gossip. Which method is used depends on the seriousness of the offense, the reputation of the offender, and the relationship between the offender and the victim. District rivalries are intense and short-lived battles often occur over charges of adultery and theft.

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